Monday, July 25, 2011

Norton's Notes - A Merchandiser's Perspective (Part 4)

Today’s posting is the fourth of a multi-part series on a feature that we have incorporated into our blog on a regular basis called Norton’s Notes. We will be periodically adding insight from our distinguished merchandising specialist, Jim Norton. The format of the articles will be in question and answer, and we encourage you all to keep the questions coming to our inbox at the Allen Brothers Inbox.

BEFORE: A Look at a Retailer Rack Prior to Receiving the Allen Brothers Advantage. Take notice of the uneven spacing and inconsistency of product placement.

AFTER: A Look at a Retailer Rack Following the Allen Brothers Advantage Upgrade. A much more unified display designed to enhance the aesthetics and maximize the amount of products.
Question 1.) When you're setting a store, is there a place that you start every time? Maybe in the grocery aisle or candy?

Answer 1.) I usually start in the candy aisle, which is what I would recommend for someone looking to do a little merchandising of their own. It is the easiest section to setup or reset in the least amount of time. It's also arguably the most essential area in a convenience store, so why not be your sharpest, right? The hanging snack and candy sections take more time as you try to set the proper spacing. I end with the grocery, pet and HBC sections, but each person has their own preferences and a lot depends on how you envision the store.

Question 2.) What's the proper amount of spacing that you recommend in an aisle? Is there an industry minimum size requirement?
Answer 2.) No big surprise here, but your customers need to be able to move around the store easily. As a convenience store or grocery market operator, it's a delicate balance between trying to fit the maximum amount of product while not overwhelming your customer's personal space. There are times when, as a store owner or operator, you need to look at the inventory you're carrying and determine if it fits what your customer is shopping you for. Here's a quick example of a spacing problem and a creative solution. Supermarkets used to feature a lot of aisle displays, transforming their customer's walk through the snack lane into a mini obstacle course. This made it not only difficult to navigate, but also burdensome and overwhelming. Now more use is made of end-caps and front end displays, making a huge difference in customer satisfaction.

Continue to check in regularly for continuous convenience coverage from Allen Brothers Wholesale Distribution.  Happy selling!


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